Safety Tips This Halloween
|Halloween is a great time to teach your kids a few safety tips while enjoying the festivities of the season! Here are a few recommendations for a great, safe, healthy weekend:
|1. Examine all halloween candy and treats to ensure there aren’t any choking hazards and that they haven’t been tampered with. It’s also a good idea to avoid homemade treats from strangers. And of course, children should be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating!
|2. Reflective tape is a great idea for walking around on dark roads with traffic. Just fasten a bit to the back of your and your child’s costume. Flashlights are helpful, too!
|3. Consider going light on the costume makeup with children! Many kids (more so than adults) will experience allergic reactions. If possible, avoid masks on young children as it can make it difficult to breathe.
|4. If you’re staying home to pass out treats for halloween, ensure that your walkway is well-lit and there are no open flames. It might be a nice idea to pass out healthier snacks, too, such as carrot sticks or pretzels, and be sure to have a few quarters on hand if kids come by trick-or-treating for Unicef!
Philadelphia is the Best Place to be A Vampire
Spooktacular! The City of Brotherly Love was recently ranked the best city in the nation to be a vampire.
Image via wallope.com
The report, published by Redfin, evaluated the country’s largest cities on number of blood banks, cloudy days, bar closing times, and percentage of homes the city has for sale near cemeteries.
Philadelphia was ranked number one, with Chicago following closely behind. But we don’t think Philly is so scary, and if you’re looking for a home in the area, give us a call at 215 699 5555…we don’t bite!
Homes Are Selling Faster Than Last Year!
A recent summary published by the National Housing Trend Report shows that homes are selling much faster than last year. Using data provided by Realtor.com, the report suggests that homes are on the market for a median of 90 days — down three days from this time last year. While three days doesn’t sound too significant, it’s important to consider that this is one of the biggest year-over-year decreases in the past few years.
Philadelphia, as a region, reports homes on the market for slightly higher than the national average at 95 days. This is down from an average of 99 days in September 2013.
Additionally, the report suggests a 7.7% year-over-year increase in median listing prices. The final sale prices have also risen significantly. Do you think homes are selling faster or slower? Let us know in the comments!
Zero Down Payment? But How?
Tons of student debt? First time homebuyer? No problem! The non-profit organization Wealth Building Home Loan (WBHL) is offering a revolutionary 15-year mortgage option that allows buyers to have zero down payment. The loan is intended to appeal to first time buyers who may have lower credit scores or be burdened by student debt. While the credit score requirement is generous, it takes monthly income heavily into account.
Image via www.ryandosen.com
This 15-year option results in higher monthly payments than it’s more popular 30-year counterpart, although many borrowers appreciate the lower interest rates and higher amounts of equity in the first few years.
Bank of America and Citigroup will be funding the loans. If you’re interested in more information, give us a call! We’d be happy to connect you to a qualified lender who can provide you with individualized assistance.
Local Haunted Fun!
Halloween is right around the corner, and there’s no better place to get spooked than the famous haunted locations in Greater Philadelphia! Our personal favorites:
1. Tucked away in a quiet location of Spring City, Pennhurst Asylum takes our top spot for haunted event in the area. The “haunted hospital” was previously an institution for mentally and physically disabled. It’s controversial history led it to close it’s doors in the 1980s, but it has recently grown as one of the most popular Halloween events! Be sure to check their site with more info here!
2. “Terror Behind the Walls” is Eastern State Penitentiary’s infamous haunted attraction, with over 6 different events running from now until November. Located at 22nd & Fairmount Streets in Philadelphia, Terror Behind the Walls has been a Halloween favorite for years!
3. Glen Mills is home to The Bates Motel, featuring a haunted hayride, spooky cornmaze, and a frightening tour of the infamous Bates Motel. Learn more and purchase tickets online here!
4. Looking for a daytrip? Head to Jason’s Woods in Lancaster for one of the largest Halloween events in the region! Jason’s Woods is famous for their haunted hayrides and six full-size attraction (plus they reduced prices a bit this year!).
Mortgage Broker Tips
Securing a great interest rate on your loan can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan, so it’s not a bad idea to shop around to ensure that you get the very best rate. Here are three tips from the experts at EveryHome:
1. Consider using a mortgage broker as opposed to your bank. Mortgage brokers can compare the rate of every major bank and lock you in for the best deal.
2. Keep an eye on your credit score and consider using a credit repair company, if necessary. Your specific financial picture can greatly affect the mortgage rate for which you qualify. A great credit score, a higher down payment, and greater financial stability can all help you secure the best rate.
3. Buying “points” might be worth it. In order to qualify for the lowest advertised rate, your mortgage broker may require you to purchase points. These points decrease your interest rate throughout the life of the loan, but they cost you a bit of extra money at the settlement table. Your lender will assist you with determining whether or not points are worth it for your specific loan.
If you’re looking for a qualified, friendly, and local mortgage broker, give us a call! We’d love to introduce you to a few of our reputable network mortgage companies. You can reach us anytime at 215.699.5555 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
|The number of foreclosure filings recently hit its lowest level in eight years, leading many real estate experts to speculate that our nation’s foreclosure crisis may be coming to a close. August’s foreclosure filings were a whopping 60% less than the peak of repossessions in September of 2010.
|The foreclosure crisis may be due largely in part to quickly rising home prices. In fact, this 7% jump in home prices last quarter led a remarkable number of homeowners to no longer be “underwater” (that is, borrowers who owe more on their home than it is worth).
|With these rising home prices, we expect to see more folks put their homes up for sale—after all, inventory is very low, and we’re seeing a lot of buyers searching Everyhome.com’s “New Today” section just waiting for that perfect home to pop up. For a no obligation estimate on what your home is worth, email us at email@example.com. We list for only 4.5%!
Maximize Space with help from ClutterShrink and DIY Hip Chicks
Looking to maximize space? Is your closet a complete disaster? Don’t be embarrassed – ours is too!! Luckily, Crystal Sabalaske of ClutterShrink and Beth Allen of DIY Hip Chicks will be hosting an informative, friendly seminar right here at EveryHome — and you’re invited!
On October 20th, from 7-9pm at the EveryHome clubhouse (located in Worcester PA, central Montgomery County), we’ll be hosting this creative duo for an evening of plenty organizational tips in order to maximize space. Plus, the ladies will be teaching us the practical stuff too, such as learning how to hang shelving!
SPACE IS LIMITED, so be sure to make your reservations soon! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is just $10.
|Crystal Sabalaske, founder of Clutter Shrink, has spent over a decade helping hundreds of clients simplify and de-clutter to maximize space, reduce stress, and save time and money. Crystal has been featured on HGTV and in many national publications. Her can-do attitude is used to help her clients make a molehill out of their mountains.
Beth Allen is the founder of Hip Chicks She is a DIY expert, interior designer, licensed contractor and speaker. She teaches women how to screw and hammer, too. Beth has made over 50 TV appearances in the Philly area and has been an expert guest on eHow and About.com. These ladies are smart, sassy and prepared to show you the DIY basics of creating an organized and functional space for your stuff! Don’t miss it. We’ll have a product raffle too, so bring a friend!
Most Expensive Cities in the US
Quick! Name the most expensive cities in the United States! If you’re like me (and most Americans, according to one survey), you would guess New York City…and you’d be wrong! In fact, two cities can boast higher housing prices than the Big Apple.
Washington D.C. is the one of the most expensive cities in the nation for housing, according to the recent survey published by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. San Francisco takes the second spot, and New York City rounds out the top three. All three of these cities have annual housing expenditures in excess of $22,500 — quite a bit more than the national average of $16,887!
Philly can be expensive — but doesn’t have to be! We love this move-in ready $80,000 4 bedroom home – 4935 Pulaski Avenue
San Diego, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago complete the list of the top ten most expensive cities, respectively.
Reasons to Visit Philadelphia
|#1. Philadelphia ranked fourth in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 U.S. Destinations for 2013. Beating out places like the American Samoa and Northern Maine, Philadelphia was touted as one of the art capitals of America for its lively galleries, stunning murals, and extensive museums.
The Academy of Music — just one of our favorite beautiful landmarks!
|#2. SEPTA! The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has officially been ranked number one in the United States for mass transit. We’ll try to remember this next time we curse under our breath when the R5 is running late.
|#3. Philly is NOT among the Most Dangerous U.S. Cities! In a recent CQ Press analysis of FBI data, the City of Brotherly Love’s crime index was not among the worst. Our neighbors Wilmington and Camden stayed off the list too….Let’s keep it up!
|#4. Reading Terminal Market. Okay, I admit this is not a “weird” reason to love Philly (we all love it, right?), but I couldn’t keep it off the list. Have you checked out cupcakes from the Flying Monkey Bakery? You can thank me later.
|#5. Bradley Cooper. After a boring and pointless year of rooting for Philadelphia sports teams, at least the Philadelphia-born Cooper gave us something to cheer for at this year’s Academy Awards. Although Silver Linings Playbook didn’t take home “Best Picture”, we still have a soft spot in our hearts for the 2012 Sexiest Man Alive. (We know your husband may disagree.)
Did You Recently Get Engaged?
If you’re newly engaged and are planning a wedding, you’ve probably gotten very familiar with registering for fancy plates and luxury luggage at traditional retail stores. But if you’re looking to purchase a new home (or renovate your current one!), why not register for something a little more meaningful?
Congratulations to Emma and Tyler — EveryHome’s happily engaged couple!!
Couples across the nation are enjoying websites such as HatchMyHouse.com or DownPaymentDreams.com to help save for their new home, and we think it’s a great idea! These unique wedding registry sites allow couples to collect much-needed cash to apply directly to their home purchase or renovations.
If you’re interested in purchasing your first home and would like a bit more information regarding how much you might need, be sure to give us a call at 215 699-5555 or email us at email@example.com! We’d love to be of assistance.
A Parent’s Guide to Choosing A School District
|It’s no secret that choosing the right school district is important to every parent. When faced with a big move, the challenge of picking the perfect place to live can be daunting. Here are a few tips to keep your search on track:
|1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Call the local elementary/middle/high school and ask to speak with a principal or guidance counselor. Not only will they appreciate your effort to learn about their school, but you’ll likely get a behind-the-scenes tour of the place where your child will be attending. For even more info, ask for the numbers or e-mail addresses of a few PTA members. They’ll be happy to share their experiences with you!
|2. Keep your options in mind! We’re lucky to have an abundance of private, public, and charter schools in the Greater Philadelphia area. For detailed info about local private schools, check out www.privateschoolreview.com
|3.Consider your budget. It’s no surprise that many of the most highly rated schools are in areas with the priciest homes and the highest local taxes. Help narrow down your lists by searching by school district and price on EveryHome’s site! We’ll even give you detailed info about the taxes you’ll be expected to pay.
|4.Rankings are a guideline, not a rule book. If you checked out the article I posted yesterday, you may have read up on some of the most highly ranked high schools in our area. While standardized testing scores, class size, and diversity are all undeniably important, remember to keep your gut feeling (and your budget) in check.
Foodie alert! If you’re looking for a great meal and a great deal (and let’s be honest — who isn’t?!) be sure to check out Manayunk’s popular restaurant week. From now until October 10th, 22 eateries will be offering special prix-fixe menus at great prices.
Restaurants include Bourbon Blue, The Tomato Bistro, La Collina, Manayunk Brewing Company, and Kildare’s.
For a full list of participating restaurants and information on making reservations, check out their official website here!